Car importers now want the government to step in and cancel a new Sh5,000 fee charged for every car import by the Radiation Protection Board.
In a letter to the industrialisation and public health ministries , the Car Importers Association of Kenya is questioning the reason for the fee considering that they are already charged for pre-shipment inspection which is done designated firms appointed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
CIAK chairman Peter Otieno questioned the motive of the fee and the its haphazard implementation by RPB.terming it an extortion and undermining the mandate of Kebs.
RPB on Thursday indicated that they had accredited a host of companies to do the radiation checks to the imported used vehicles at the port of Mombasa.
Radiotech Solutions and Analytical Quality Solutions, both based in Mombasa, are among the companies RPB accredited to do the checks.
"The collection of the fee is part of frustrating investors. What RPB is doing is against the law because the Kebs has been doing a good job. These charges should be stopped and an audit conducted on the CFSs (container freight terminals) that have been exploited," said Otieno.
CIAK added, "RPB should show the course of initiating the charges. If there is such an arrangement then stakeholders, Kebs, CIAK and KRA should be brought in the light."
The letter was also copied to Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Maritime Authority and KRA commissioner general.
By Friday, radiation officers were busy spreading their inspection to almost all the CFSs.
"If you pay Sh5,000, you are given a receipt but if you give out Sh2,000 there is no receipt. That is the reason we are saying this is a conduit by a few people to collect money from importers," said one of the importers who sought anonymity.
Vehicle inspection is within the mandate of Kebs. Kebs has contracted three companies that charge Sh18,920 (USD220) per vehicle for inspection.
The fee is gazetted and is inclusive of the radiation checks, age and roadworthiness and quality.
The companies are M/s Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center Company Limited (JEVIC), M/s Auto Terminal Japan Ltd (ATJ) and M/s Quality Inspection Services Inc Japan (QISJ) all based in Japan in Japan.
The three companies inspect vehicles destined for Kenya from Japan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore and South Africa.